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Frequently Asked Questions

Program Questions

What is the Bonner Leaders Program?

Founded in 1990 by the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, which is based in Princeton, New Jersey, the Bonner Program is one of the largest programs of its kind in the nation. Across the country, 80 colleges and universities supports community work opportunities for more than 2,400 undergraduate students. The Bonner Leaders Program seeks to change the lives of the students, their communities, and the nation by providing access to education and opportunities to serve. The Augsburg Bonner Leaders Program started in 2008.

How many students are in the Bonner Program at Augsburg?

The number of students fluctuates as one class graduates and new Bonners are brought in every year, but the number tends to be about 40 students.

How are students chosen for the Bonner Program?

We promote and publicize the program every spring and summer. Applications for the program are reviewed yearly, usually in March and August, for students to begin in September. Most new Bonner Leaderes are incoming first-year students and rising sophomores. Students are chosen based on financial need, history of volunteer service and community engagement, and potential for leadership growth in the program.

How are placements determined for students?

Students choose their own placements from a list of established community partners. Choices are often in part determined by their interests, experience, major, location and schedule of the organization. Community partners also interview students and express preferences around students placed at their organizations.

What type of job would I have if I were to become a Bonner Leader?

The Bonner Leader Program at Augsburg University has many different community partners who host students for a variety of service opportunities in their organization. All organizations that students work with are not-for-profit community organizations. Student jobs range from working in an after-school program assistant to organizing a neighborhood coalition to serving meals with the Campus Kitchen project, to working in the greenhouse of an environmentally focused school.

How do I know if I’d make a good Bonner Leader?

Students who are interested in social justice, equity, their community, working with people, and developing their own leadership skills make excellent Bonners.

How many hours would I be committing to if I were to become a Bonner Leader?

Bonner Leaders work an average of 9-15 hours a week in the community. On top of working, students are expected to attend regular Bonner meetings and workshops – about 4 hours a month. Students are also required to spend some of their time each semester attending extra trainings or workshops, Bonner events, and volunteering their time to causes they choose.

Eligibility/Funding Questions

What is Financial Aid?

Financial Aid is the combination of resources to help a student fund their education. It can be a combination of grants, scholarships, work-study funds and loans. Please visit the Enrollment Center for more information or to find out if you qualify for work-study money.

What is Work Study?

Work-study money is money that students earn through a job on- or off-campus to help pay for the cost of their education. At Augsburg, work-study students earn an hourly wage paid in bi-weekly paychecks.

More Questions?

Contact the Bonner Program Director, Elaine Eschenbacher at 612-330-1492 or